Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

My Partner, Jackie Stodghill

The beginning of the dedication in the book Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War reads: "For Jackie, who has always been there to help an old infantry dogface with his dubious enterprises, never losing faith that the next one might actually prove worthwhile."
Very true, but it fails to mention the countless hours she spent sitting in the rain and cold at football games while I sat in the dry and heated pressbox, of others in the blazing heat of Cincinnati's old Riverfront Stadium while I enjoyed the comfort of the air-conditioned pressbox. And then one evening I complained that they had served lasagna (her favorite) in the press dining room, forgetting that her dinner had been a hot dog from the concession stand.
Being married to a newspaperman was, at best, a frustrating experience. The job always had to come first. Every time we went out to dinner, every time we took a trip, in fact every time we did anything it always centered on that one thing - the job. Somehow she always found a way to keep smiling and remain uncomplaining. Well, almost always. That business with the lasagna and hot dog didn't go over too well.
Then came the sports books that meant hundreds of hours of poring over old newspapers on library microfilm. Not one library, 27 of them in Indiana, another 15 in Ohio. And all the time knowing we'd be lucky to break even on the projects because they were labors of love - my love, not hers.
Did I mention the afternoon when it was 13 below zero and we had to call AAA to get the car started so we could drive 126 miles to see two small town high school teams play basketball? I wanted to write a column about one of the towns and its school and that was all that mattered.
No, it hasn't been easy for her, hasn't been a life of luxury, of gala social events and activities women normally would enjoy. Rare was the day when we did something merely because she wanted to. It just hasn't worked out that way even though I always hoped that someday it would. But through it all we've had a lot of fun, a lot of laughs and met a lot of interesting people. She did get to see nine countries in Europe, something she might otherwise not have done, but even then I had to spend time writing a column every single day.
For me it's been great, having a wife willing to live that way. The finest partner a man could hope for. For her? Well, maybe I'm better off not asking.

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